Colorado: 10-year-old dies from causes associated with plague
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Building on the success of the Oxford Covid vaccine, researchers will test their new cure on a total of 40 adults over the course of a year. The plague vaccine is based on the ChAdOx1 adenovirus viral vector platform that was armed in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Plague is an infectious disease caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria that has a fatality rate of 30 to 60 percent.
Plague is transmitted from small animals and fleas through bits or direct contact with infected tissues and bodily fluids, and the incubation period is between three and seven days.
Symptoms typically include sudden fever, chills, body aches, vomiting and nausea, as well as painful and swollen lymph nodes in some cases.
Historically, the best-known example of a plague pandemic is the Black Death that swept across the world in the 1300s.
Black Death was a form of plague known as bubonic due to the swollen lymph nodes (buboes) that would appear on the body.
Death toll estimates vary but it is generally accepted the Black Death killed 25 to 50 million people worldwide.
Black Death: Oxford scientists are trialing a plague vaccine (Image: GETTY)
Black death: Yersinia pestis causes three types of plague (Image: GETTY)
Bubonic plague: Expert on how Black Death ‘killed millions’
Scientists are, therefore, racing to find a cure that could once and for all eradicate the disease.
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has shown the importance of vaccines to defend from the threat caused by bacteria and viruses.
“Plague threatened the world in several horrific waves over past millennia, and, even today, outbreaks continue to disrupt communities.
“A new vaccine to prevent plague is important for them and for our health security.”
Phase 1 of the Oxford vaccine trial will involve 40 healthy adults aged 18 to 55.
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Black Death: The Yersinia pestis bacteria is spread by small animals and their fleas (Image: EXPRESS)
Black death: A mass grave of plague victims found in London (Image: GETTY)
The volunteers will be randomly divided into three groups where they will receive one dose, two doses, or two doses with an increased one, respectively.
They will be given the plague vaccine to determine how the body responds to the jab and to determine what sort of side effects are to be expected.
After the trial, they will receive expert follow-up for 12 months before the Oxford teams evaluate the success of their cure.
The vaccine is administered orally under the tongue or through a muscle jab.
The goal of the trial is to kickstart the body’s immune system to protect against Plague.
Plague takes on three different forms: bubonic, pneumonic and septicaemic.
Pneumonic Plague is the deadliest of the three, if untreated, with most cases ending in a fatality.
Christine Rollier, Associate Professor of Vaccinology at the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “Although antibiotics can be used to treat plague, many areas experiencing outbreaks are very remote locations.
“In such areas, an effective vaccine could offer a successful prevention strategy to combat the disease.”